Physiology of Injury

“Most body pain is caused by short, scarred soft tissues” 

When you injure or tear soft tissues, it can take two to twelve months to heal. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. During the healing cycle torn tissues will shorten. This shortening is an important part of the healing process. The body responds adding scar tissue inside and around an injury. Scar tissue is necessary acting much like stitches, which hold a deep cut together. Scar tissue has a negative quality to it looking much like spider webs with thin fine white fibers matted into the normal tissue. It cannot stretch which makes it very difficult to lengthen injured tissues after they have healed. These aspects of the healing process cause long term problems. The shortened, scarred tissue created during the healing process will decrease motion in a joint and will often pull the two bones of a joint tightly together. This increases wear on the cartilage within a joint. If wear on the cartilage exceeds your body’s ability to heal it, the joint will begin to wear out. When a joint wears excessively for a long period of time a Doctor will likely call the process Osteoarthritis. During the time a joint is wearing out the body will try to protect it with muscle spasm, weakness and pain. Muscle spasm decreases joint movement and acts like a brace. The problem with spasm is it will increase wear to a joint and the body will generally respond by adding more spasm. Pain is the body’s attempt to keep you from using a joint while it is wearing out. Generally, the faster a joint is wearing, the more pain and spasm you will have.

If you have joints with decreased movement, stiffness, pain, spasm or weakness on a regular basis in the same area of your body, you likely have a new or old soft tissue injury. If you are ready to address this problem, Dr. Brian will examine your joints and soft tissues looking for lost range of motion, shortness, scarred tissues and joint wear. If issues are found, treatment will involve lengthening of the soft tissues and breaking of scarred tissues. Once scarred tissue has been broken and released, the body will use white blood cells to dissolve the broken tissue leaving the scar gone forever. Once soft tissue is lengthened it will remain longer for the rest of your life. When a joint stops wearing out, the body will stop protecting itself with pain and spasm allowing immobility to dissipate.